Opening Up The Floor

“So, how was your day today, Love?”
“Good.”
“Yeah? What did you do?”
“Watched some shows.”
“What did you do at Godsend’s (a.k.a daycare provider) house today? Did you play?”
“Yeah.”
“You said earlier that Godsend’s daughter stayed home today because she had a cold. Did you get to play with her?”
“Yeah.”
“What did you play with? Did you build anything interesting with the blocks today?”
“Yeah, but, but I got grounded from the blocks so I can’t play with them.”
“Really? You got grounded? Why?”
“Godsend took them away because I was putting them in my mouth.”
“Oh. That seems reasonable, since you know you’re not supposed to put things in your mouth. It’s not clean, and it’s not safe, and it’s not polite. And it’s not a very grown-up thing to do.”
“Yeah.”
“So what else did you do? Did you bake, or colour, or chase?”
“Yeah. Yeah but, but Mom? When Godsend was out of the room, picking the girls up at the bus stop, I sneaked.”
“You sneaked?”
“Yah! I sneaked into the livingroom, and got the blocks out, and got my blockgun!”
“When Godsend wasn’t there?”
“Yah! And I went powpowpowbampowbangfzzzzsh! And then, when she was helping the girls do their homework in the kitchen, I went fffshshsssssppttptptpfsshshshzzz! And when she came into the livingroom, I put my blockgun down, and put my hands up in the air, and she didn’t know that I sneaked!”
“Hmmm.”
“And you know what? In my neighbourhood, the houses have shield domes.”
“Oh yeah? Why’s that?”
“So they can shoot at each other with their bubble blasters! Like this, kpobambampowpowppfftshshshssspptt!”
Mother-son shooting ensues.
“But Love, what if one of the houses had a blockgun instead of a bubble blaster?”
“YAH!”
More shooting.
“But the blockgun house doesn’t have a shield.”
“Why not, Mom?”
“Well – because it has to keep on hiding.”
“Oh yeah! So the other houses don’t know that it has a blockgun instead of a bubble blaster! Because blockguns are so, totally, COOL!”
“Exactly. Very cool. But, how do you think the other houses feel, to have such a sneaky, hiding house shooting at them?”
“Um, oh. Bad, maybe.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah.”
“What do you think we should do?”
“Uhhhh… build blockguns for all the houses?”
“I was thinking maybe writing an I’m Sorry card, with a picture of your blockgun on the front, and giving it to Godsend.”
“Yah! That would be perfect!”
“And maybe that would help you not feel so bad, if you were, say, feeling a little bit bad.”
“Yeah.”
“And maybe saying what you’re sorry for, in the card.”
“Like, sorry for putting blocks in my mouth?”
“What about the sneaking?”
“Oh yeah!”
“And the not listening, which is why Godsend took the blocks away in the first place?”
“Oh. Yeah.”
“So, do you want to use markers, or crayons?”
“MARKERS! C’mon, Mom, let’s go, go, GO!”

And he’s off.
We write out the whole story for Godsend, with Bonhomme writing the word sorry himself. And after lights out, I tell the whole story to Dearest, this time NOT biting my tongue, and reflect upon this historic day.
A day of such conflicting emotion. Usama bin Laden was killed last night, ending a decade of distraction, ending an era. Perhaps now we will be able to refocus all those considerable resources to tackling the issues which allowed that towering personality to tower as he did. It is not until we can talk meaningfully about right and wrong, having built the tolerance needed for that necessarily conflicting conversation, that we will be able to create a new era, whatever it turns out to be.
Dearest and I then spent the rest of our short evening watching a documentary on Shah Abbas, a legendary Persian who transformed his country via patience, prudence and tolerance; via dialogue and diplomacy. And then we capped the day waiting for election results to come in for the Canadian federal election, monitoring debatably-legal tweets.
This, all of this, is how we build our future. One difficult conversation at a time.

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1 comment so far

  1. Lynn on

    Adorable and brilliant. I love the way he was so enthusiastic about saying sorry. He’s a sweetheart.


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